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Rutgers baseball rolls into series against Minnesota after 2 midweek wins

Junior catcher Nick Cimillo and the Rutgers baseball team look to continue their fast start this weekend against Minnesota. – Photo by Michael Sullivan /

Rutgers baseball will play its first Big Ten home series of the season when the program takes on Minnesota this weekend. The Scarlet Knights (18-6, 2-1) have been consistent all season and have won 5 of their last 6 games. Rutgers is also undefeated at Bainton Field on Livingston campus this season.

The Knights will open the series against the Golden Gophers (8-15, 0-0) today at 2 p.m. Tomorrow, Rutgers will play the second game of the series at 1 p.m. before finishing the series on Sunday at 11 a.m.

The Knights are coming into their series against Minnesota after two dominating performances against NJIT and Saint Peter’s.

Against the Highlanders (10-10, 5-1), Rutgers jumped to an 8-0 lead before NJIT scored its lone run of the game. The Knights would add three more runs to win the game 11-1. It was a team effort on the mound for Rutgers, as five pitchers combined to only allow one run and six hits. Junior catcher Nick Cimillo continued his fast start to the season, going 2-4 with an RBI.

The Knights were even more dominant against the Peacocks (3-18, 0-3). Saint Peter’s scored the first run of the game in the top of the first before giving up 17 unanswered runs.  The outburst was highlighted by an eight-run second inning. Rutgers has averaged 16 runs in its last three games.

“We played a lot this week," said head coach Steve Owens. "We've played for a week straight in cold weather. I'm sure guys are sore and tired. We'll be light tomorrow and then get it cranked up on Friday, and it will be very, very competitive."

The Gophers are coming off of a series sweep against Western Illinois. Minnesota is 1-7 away from home, producing a .260 batting average and a 6.42 earned run average (ERA) on the season. The Gophers ERA is the second-highest in the Big Ten.

Big Ten Network+ will broadcast the series along with 88.7 WRSU-FM as the Knights look to win their second series in conference play this season after winning two games against Penn State last weekend.

"Having people come here is an advantage. It always is," Owens said. "We're looking forward to a nice homestand this whole weekend and next Tuesday. We're really excited to be playing at home and keep winning."

For more updates on the Rutgers baseball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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